Spokane Foreclosure Rate Jumps 50-Percent

SPOKANE — With more people losing their jobs, more people are struggling to pay their mortgages, and as a result foreclosure rates have jumped more than 50-percent from a year ago.

Every Friday at 10 a.m. people gather at the Spokane County Courthouse to buy houses loan companies want to get rid of because home owners haven’t paid their mortgages for months.

And lately the numbers of homes for auction has increased with the list of properties for auction was about 50 houses long.

Ryan Main had his eye on a home on West Gordon Friday morning. It was being auctioned off because it’s owner hadn’t paid the mortgage.

“Once [you] start bidding people stand up crowd around people start yelling out bids it’s pretty fun,” Main said.

Gregg Kelsey was there for the same house.

“The bidding should be pretty fierce today,” Kelsey said.

The number of houses up for auction because of foreclosure is climbing at a rate of about 10 houses a day.

On Friday however the list of foreclosed homes didn’t really dwindle. Some homes didn’t sell because the price was too high, in which case they went back to the bank.

Many sales were also canceled or postponed because the owners cut deals with the banks.  Aaron Cunningham runs a business helping people buy foreclosures and says the auctions have been quiet for a while.

“Any bank that got TARP money, Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac guaranteed loans they’ve all been postponing for last four months so it’s been slow,” Cunningham said, adding that a foreclosure moratorium could end by next week.

“What we’re going to see all those good deals that people have been waiting for going to sale hopefully exciting people down here and making money.”

As for Kelsey and Main, they didn’t make any money Friday. The auction of the house they were both bidding on was postponed until next month.